Last Blog of 2012
26 August 2012 | Tuscarora Bay, NY.
Having made the decision to haul at Shumway’s in Rochester and noting we were only a few days away, we spent the morning arranging everything from air reservations to car rental and haul out date. The short sail to Tuscarora Bay was uneventful. Learning from our experiences with the falling water levels, we called every club and marina in the Bay to ask about water levels, but no one knew anything. Finally, we connected with Andy at Sunset Bay Marina who gave us some instructions of how to enter. In order to get a good idea of what we were contending with, we decided to take a dock and inspect the place. Andy would meet us at the dock.
The depth sounder registered 6 feet most of the way in (which is actually 8 feet because the sounder is down about two feet below the surface of the water). But once tied up, we stayed the night. Later in talking with Andy at Ellie’s suggestion, I inquired as to their storage fees and found them to be 2/3s of Shumway’s. We convened a conference with Andy and Chuck, the couple who run the marina. We liked them and their relaxed attitude immediately. We dumped Shumway for Sunset.
Now having settled on Sunset Bay we were even more days ahead of ourselves. Our flight was home more than a week away, we went out to anchor in the pond for three nights before coming in to prepare for haulout. The water level continued to drop. On Friday, haulout day, we motored toward the well just fine although where a week ago the sounder showed 6 feet, it now showed only 5. Still, we did not ground out until right at the opening of the well. Tossing a line to Chuck, we were pulled backward into the well through the muck.
Two hours later, the crew was finally able to get the slings under the boat having to tug them through the muck under the boat. From that point, all went well. When the hull came out of the water, Chuck exclaimed: “ That is the cleanest bottom I have ever seen. This boat has been movin’!” You betcha it has! But we are now blocked and sitting on six jack stands. The boat is ready to be covered and closed finally for the winter. The winter work orders for Chuck are drawn up.
The flax packing around the prop shaft had not been replaced in many years and it was leaking too much. The gland is located deep in the keel under the cockpit. To get at it, I had to remove some piping and stand on my head while contorting my body and doing a lot of work left handed and blind. But with E gophering and a bit of luck, it went better than expected and in two hours all of the old packing came out and the new was in place. Unfortunately, the real test requires that the boat be afloat. Likely I will be back “under” next Spring to make final adjustments.
Today we went in to Lewiston for their annual jazz festival. Great fun and super performances. Some straight ahead jazz singing by a very good local female singer; a sophisticated young black group that said they try to play according to the love that John Coltrane gave to them; and a double base/guitar duo that reawakened in me an interest is small jazz groups.
We are now no longer sleeping on the boat. We have a room at the local Inn. There is a carnival in town and tonight there was a loud singer in the bar directly under our room. Cheap, but a little weird. Tomorrow we close up the boat and cover her. Then on Monday we will go to see Niagara Falls before dropping the rental car at the Rochester airport and catching the flight home.
For the first time all summer, our boat is in the shade. Shade that comes from trees rather than from big power boats. We are anchored in a small pond in Twelve Mile Creek in Tuscarora Bay in northern N.Y., with swans, trees and tranquility. Because the space is small and shallow, the few boats that come our way have to go slow. And at night, we hear the waves crashing on the other side of the peninsula.
Having gone thru the Welland Canal with 8 locks equal to the drop of Niagra Falls, we were headed for Rochester to haul the boat. We had rejected the idea of a few days in Toronto because the wind was blowing the wrong way. We were exhausted and TIRED of big marinas which kept getting bigger and nosier. The last one entailed a 10 minute walk to the showers. So we decided to go to Tuscarora State Park and anchor until it was time to head for Rochester to be hauled.
We were very surprised to find that there is a boat yard here! It as an old funky place, well run by Chuck and Andy and 2/3 of the cost of Rochester. So now, we are way ahead of schedule. We dingy into shore to use the wi-fi and the showers and to take walks but otherwise we sit on the boat and read, eat and sleep.
Yesterday was Sunday. We walked into town, the Guide book said go thru the cemetery. It’s shorter. It was. Linda Lou’s had a fabulous breakfast for $5.00 each. In the afternoon there was a very good jazz concert right here. In the woods! We sat on a patio overlooking the water, shaded by huge pine trees, had a beer and loved it.
That day and a perfectly wonderful sail to get here will be embedded as a great end to this summer’s trip.
We will be home on the 27th.